Red sand fills sidewalk cracks at local university

JACKSON, Tenn. — A local college spreads red sand for a good cause.

Wednesday, the University of Memphis Lambuth’s Nursing Department joined together to fill the cracks of the college’s sidewalks. They did so in partnership with the Red Sand Project.

The Red Sand Project’s mission is to raise awareness for human trafficking, and hopefully, put an end to it.

“The statistic is there are over 40 million people worldwide that are affected by trafficking, and Tennessee and this area are not left out of that. You know, I looked at a stat right before I came out here and Tennessee, I think, had over a hundred thousand cases reported. And then a 180 in the last year,” said Dr. Brad Harrell, the Assistant Dean of Nursing at Lambuth.

According to Harrell, human trafficking is defined as forced labor, exploitation, and sex trafficking.

He goes on to say it’s not everyday we think about human trafficking, so spreading awareness and keeping the issue fresh is important.

“So the red sand is there to help remind us that we don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks, and that, you know, as you walk across that, to think about that and let that stimulate the thought that this is something that goes on,” Harrell said.

The event was organized by Rachel Beauchamp, the President of the Student Nursing Association at Lambuth.

She said she came across the idea to bring this project to the campus after researching the Red Sand Project online.

“I contacted the main headquarters of the Red Sand Project, and they were super supportive. They gave us all the sand for free. The only thing we had to do was pay shipping and handling. And then from there, it was just gathering the troops and spreading the sand,” Beauchamp said.

Beauchamp says that as future nurses, it’s important for the students to learn the signs of human trafficking so when they come into a health facility they can get the help they need.

“It goes right along with any of the other signs and symptoms we’re supposed to be able to recognize because if you can find it, then that’s one person more that you can help,” Beauchamp said.

The University of Memphis Lambuth Campus hopes to do this again in the future.

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